It’s not often we hear about the achievements of men like Jim Hoff. Even at a major league level, the work of a field coordinator is often overlooked and taken for granted. But Hoff, the minor league field coordinator for the Rays, made such a dramatic impact on the young men — and established managers — around him, that on news of his passing on Monday, the Rays farm system is in mourning.
Hoff, who worked professionally in baseball for over 50 years, spent the last 17 years of his life and career working with the Rays. He spent his entire adult life working in and around baseball, first with the Cincinnati Reds — a team he briefly played minor league ball for from 1967-72 — and then moved on to working in their system as both a manager and later field coordinator. He then went on to spend four seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, before moving on to work on the Rays farm, where he has been ever since.
Some Rays who spent time in the minor league recently, and others who worked alongside Hoff, shared their condolences on his passing, and their words make it clear that the loss of Hoff will leave a big hole in the hearts of everyone who knew him.
This is heartbreaking. We’ll all miss your attitude and love for the game and all of us. I’ll especially miss your jokes and story telling, they never got old. https://t.co/VE1Ash8gx9— Jaime Schultz (@JMSchultz12) December 11, 2018
Really sad day to have learned of the passing of my infield coordinator Jim Hoff. The most genuine caring person I’ve come across in the game of baseball. Really cared for all of his players and really taught me a lot about fielding. Prayers for the Hoff family. Will be missed https://t.co/7K7a5atuH3— Patrick Cottrell (@Pat_Cottrell) December 11, 2018
Jim Hoff was a great man. Taught me a lot about this great game! The Rays wouldn’t be the Rays without Jim Hoff. Always saw the positives in situations. RIP Hoffy! I can hear that air horn still to this day!— Nate Dion (@Tomahawkchop13) December 11, 2018